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Mabel Berezin

Subject Sociology » Government, Politics, and Law, Sociology of Development

Key-Topics imperialism

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


Postnationalism as an analytic frame articulates with a hypothesized decline of the nation-state in the face of globalization and reterritorialization ( Berezin 2003 ; Ansell 2004 ). The increasing presence of immigrants on the territories of established nation-states, particularly but not exclusively in Europe, has pushed the discussion of postnationalism to the forefront of social science research. Soysal (1994) describes immigrant organizations in six European nation-states. Soysal identifies four types of “incorporation regimes” and argues that a new form of postnational citizenship has emerged that decouples territory from legal membership. Trans-territorial membership is based upon human rights – the rights of persons as persons, rather than persons as citizens of nation-states. Scholars have contested the postnational argument – Soysal's variant as well as other articulations of it (e.g., Jacobson 1996 ; Tambini 2001 ). Postnationalism as theory is based on a paradox that squares poorly with political reality ( Eder & Giesen 2001 ). Postnationalism upholds the autonomy of national cultural difference at the expense of political membership. By privileging culture and nature, nationality and humanity over territorially based institutional ties, postnationalism as concept leaves itself open to criticism that it is utopian and, that in practice, it may actually threaten ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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